VGC construction workersHow we are tackling modern slavery

Our commitment:

We are committed to tackling labour exploitation. We were the first labour supply company in the UK to comply with the Ethical Labour Sourcing Standard (BESĀ 6002:2017).

Our modern slavery statement sets out our action plan. It feeds into our corporate objectives for each year.

What we have done already

  • Our Modern Slavery policy has been on our website since November 2015.
  • VGC was an early signatory to the GLAA construction protocol. We regularly attend and contribute to discussions at events.
  • We interview everyone who works for VGC face-to-face.
  • Our UK Borders Agency-trained team carries out stringent checks on passports and visas to ensure all our people have the right to work in the UK.
  • Payments for hours worked are made directly into personal bank accounts.
  • All staff involved in recruitment have had training on spotting the signs of labour exploitation. We also train our key influencers and have trained project clients. By December 2020 we had delivered modern slavery training to 640 people.
  • We produced a modern slavery film which is used in inductions.
  • We display Stronger Together posters across our offices and sites
  • We share the messages and links to our online whistleblowing form on social media, in payslips and enewsletters, to encourage everyone to report issues in confidence.
  • We continue to invest in new technology to run detailed audits which show where bank account details, mobile numbers, addresses and next-of-kin details have been duplicated. These are flags which are subsequently investigated.

Stronger Together posterWhat we are going to do

  • We will include a worker exploitation briefing in the company HSQE and office inductions.
  • We will include modern slavery questions in the registration pack for new starters.
  • We will continue to share best practice with industry, and contribute to discussions through the GLAA construction protocol forum.
  • We will continue to train VGC staff in modern slavery and labour exploitation.
  • We will continue to invest in technology to manage the risk of labour exploitation.
  • We will continue to raise awareness through our communications channels.

We will produce an annual review on our progress.

About the ethical labour sourcing standard

BRE developed the ethical labour sourcing (ELS) standard BES 6002 in February 2017 in response to the 2015 Modern Slavery Act.

The Global Slavery Index 2017 revealed that modern slavery and enforced labour affects 48 million people worldwide. The ELS provides third-party assurance of business practices and provides a pathway to make continuous improvements.

Organisations are assessed on:

  • organisational structure
  • management structure
  • management policies
  • procurement
  • bribery and corruption
  • forums
  • learning and development
  • assurance and compliance.
  • immigration
  • supply chain management
  • HR
  • reporting

VGC leads the labour supply sector in our approach to fairness, sustainability, diversity, and ethical business practices.

Ciara Pryce, group services director, said: “Forced labour can have no place on the UK’s construction projects. We are doing all we can to eliminate it; aspiring to ELS accreditation is testament to our commitment.”

We are fair to everyone who works for us and with us.